Soon after Covid devastated the New York hotel industry in the spring of 2020, politicians, developers and homeless services groups arrived at a rare consensus: This was a once-in-a-generation chance to convert struggling hotels into affordable housing.
In California, which faced a similar situation during the pandemic, government agencies have helped to convert 120 sites, most of them hotels, into 5,911 housing units, the majority permanent housing for the homeless and other low-income renters, according to an April report from the California Department of Housing and Community Development.
The grand total of hotels converted into permanent affordable housing in New York City during the pandemic? Zero.
The Times Square, a grand prewar hotel in Midtown, is a rare example of a New York City hotel converted to permanent supportive housing; it has been operating in that capacity since 1991. Nonprofit developers are hopeful that other struggling hotels might be similarly transformed.Credit...Katherine Marks for The New [...]